'XL Bully' kills cat as 'heartbroken' owners call in police

Sweetheart is a deaf black cat who was mauled by a bulldog type breed on her owner's driveway
-Credit: (Image: Sarah Harvey)

A family have been left 'heartbroken' after one of their cats was mauled to death by an out-of-control suspected 'XL Bully'. The dog reportedly escaped from the clutches of a child, bounded onto a driveway, and killed Sweetheart.

Devastated couple Sarah Harvey and Ben Watson as well as Sarah's daughter Amber have had to bury Sweetheart in their garden. Now Staffordshire Police have been called in following the cat killing on Pinfold Avenue, in Norton, at 3.45pm on Tuesday, June 18.

Sarah said: “It’s absolutely heart-breaking and it has ruined us. Sweetheart was a little black cat who we took in as a stray and had been due to formally adopt her days later as we’d spoken to Cats Protection which was going to vaccinate and microchip her. I feed a lot of foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and other wildlife from my garden and Sweetheart started visiting us a few months ago. I have a wildlife camera in my garden and we’d see her eating with the foxes.

“She was a frightened little thing and very stand-offish at first, only coming at night time to eat the food. Slowly and slowly we’d been gaining her trust. We’d put food down then move away from the food and Sweetheart would come and eat it. It’s only the last couple of weeks that we’d even been able to stroke her because she was such a timid little thing. We’d bought a shelter for her and put hay in there so it was somewhere safe for her to stay because she was so nervous and scared around people and was used to eating with the foxes. So we wanted to get her used to our cats and slowly move her into our house.

“On Tuesday she was asleep on our drive, she’s deaf, and can’t hear a thing. It’s a busy road and she doesn’t go in hedges. A witness said the dog was on a lead but there was nobody holding it. The dog just ran and grabbed hold of the cat and the owner chased it and tried to separate them but it was too late, she was covered in blood, the cat didn’t stand a chance.

Sweetheart is a deaf black cat who was mauled by a bulldog type breed on her owner's driveway
Sweetheart is a deaf black cat who was mauled by a bulldog type breed on her owner's driveway -Credit:Sarah Harvey

“It has broken me, my partner and my daughter. I'm still in shock and can’t think straight. It’s just dreadful. It’s broken our hearts. I’ve cried every day since it happened."

The family have also alerted the RSPCA.

Sarah added: "I’m concerned for other domestic cats and smaller dogs and children, I’m worried to death about my other cats and stressed that something else might happen. I’ve had a man give me a quote for having front gates to secure the driveway so it can’t happen again. I love animals, I’d do anything for them, as would Ben and Amber, and what happened was horrific. Something needs to be done.”

Police are appealing for witnesses following the mauling.

A police spokesman said: "We received reports that a dog attacked a cat on Pinfold Avenue. Sadly, the cat died from its injuries. Enquiries are ongoing to track the dog and its owner."

Anyone with any information about the dog should call the police on 101, quoting incident number 654 of 18 June, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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